Police-community Relations

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Communities rely on police departments to "protect and serve" and the police, in turn, rely on community support and cooperation, but the relationship is not always harmonious. RAND researchers have examined the relationships between law enforcement agencies and their communities in several countries.

  • NYPD officers interact with pedestrians in Central Park, Manhattan, May 22, 2011, photo by JayLazarin/iStock

    Report

    Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public

    May 1, 2015

    Amid recent tensions between law enforcement and the public, three key questions must be answered to build the foundation for long-lasting mutual trust, especially given technological changes that are increasing transparency.

  • Police officer maintaining crowd control

    Testimony

    Performance Metrics to Improve Police-Community Relations

    Feb 23, 2015

    Changing the way police performance is measured could prevent issues leading to civil rights violations and poor police-community relations. Should California take the lead to recommend that local law enforcement agencies must report performance metrics?

Explore Police-community Relations

  • Report

    A Community-Based, Focused-Deterrence Approach to Closing Overt Drug Markets: A Process and Fidelity Evaluation of Seven Sites

    This process evaluation describes how well seven jurisdictions adhered to a Bureau of Justice Assistance strategy to reduce overt drug markets, along with the barriers they encountered and lessons learned from their experiences.

    Feb 2, 2016

  • Members of the New York City Police Department's Critical Response Command anti-terrorism unit stand in formation on Randall's Island in New York City, November 16, 2015

    Commentary

    A Symbolic Purging of the NYPD Radicalization Report

    The NYPD's purging of its 2007 report on radicalization may give some satisfaction by symbolically breaking the connection between the current mayoral administration and the NYPD's previous intelligence and investigative efforts. But its significance seems questionable.

    Jan 26, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Policing, Boundaries and the State: The Changing Landscape of Sovereignty and Security

    This study examines institutional rearrangements of policing, boundaries and the state.

    Dec 29, 2015

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2015

    This issue reports on efforts to help veterans transition into the civilian workforce; uptake of buprenorphine as a recovery drug for those addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers; ways to combat poppy cultivation in Afghanistan; and more.

    Oct 19, 2015

  • A police officer poses with a body-worn camera on his chest in Colorado Springs, April 21, 2015

    Testimony

    Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public in an Era of Increasing Transparency

    The United States faces the challenge of improving police-community relationships in an evolving information environment. Congress has important opportunities to help both parties build sustainable trust amid increasing transparency.

    Oct 6, 2015

  • Policeman taking details

    Project

    Evaluating the UK College of Policing's New Stop and Search Training

    An evaluation of new stop and search training introduced by the UK College of Policing aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the quality and nature of the training programme's implementation, the mechanisms of change, and the impact on on officers' behaviour.

    Sep 30, 2015

  • Police stopping on a crowded street

    Blog

    Examining Police, Community Relations

    The “Strengthening Police-Community Trust” panel held Wednesday at RAND's Pittsburgh offices felt ripped from the headlines, and from the outset the discussion was focused on what the moderator called “the intersection between the community and the police.”

    May 8, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Strengthening Police-Community Trust

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, Pittsburgh Chief of Police Cameron McLay joins Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle and RAND's director of Safety and Justice, Brian Jackson, for a conversation about why building and maintaining trust between police and the public is critical for the health of American democracy.

    May 6, 2015

  • NYPD officers interact with pedestrians in Central Park, Manhattan, May 22, 2011

    Report

    Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public

    Amid recent tensions between law enforcement and the public, three key questions must be answered to build the foundation for long-lasting mutual trust, especially given technological changes that are increasing transparency.

    May 1, 2015

  • Police in formation at a Memorial Day ceremony in Connecticut

    Commentary

    When It Comes to Police-Community Relations, “Expect What You Inspect”

    As the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report suggests, local governments should evaluate police on more than crime statistics, and police departments and officers should be held publicly accountable for meeting the community's expectations. Adding new dimensions of performance metrics would help.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • Former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson's badge

    Commentary

    To Serve and Collect? Police Department Funding, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy

    Like so many issues in public policy, one of the factors shaping the complex policing challenges facing America—and a potential lever to help address them—is simple and unsurprising. That factor is money.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • Mounted police patrol Hattersley near Manchester, northern England

    Commentary

    Want Better Policing? Bring on the Horses

    Neighborhood patrols by mounted police in the UK are associated with comparatively higher levels of public trust and confidence than patrols by police on foot. Members of the public engage with mounted police over six times as much as they engage with police on foot.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • Police form a line after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Progress After Ferguson? Good Ideas Need Good Implementation

    President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has done a great service by providing dozens of sound recommendations—good ideas that could help avoid another Ferguson. Now we need good implementation to go along with them.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK: Appendices

    These appendices include the research tools used by the research team in different stages of the project, as well as additional data referenced in the main report.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK

    The Association of Chief Police Officers commissioned the University of Oxford and RAND Europe to develop evidence on the value of mounted police in key deployment contexts, including neighbourhood, football and public order policing.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Police officer maintaining crowd control

    Testimony

    Performance Metrics to Improve Police-Community Relations

    Changing the way police performance is measured could prevent issues leading to civil rights violations and poor police-community relations. Should California take the lead to recommend that local law enforcement agencies must report performance metrics?

    Feb 20, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Positive Youth Development in a School-Based Setting: A Study of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program

    Offers a case study of a Los Angeles public school--based positive youth development (PYD) program to examine the extent to which PYD principles are incorporated in school programming and how they relate to a set of youth outcomes.

    Feb 18, 2015

  • An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in February 2014 after U.S. authorities issued a warning to airlines to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes

    Commentary

    What Research Says About Profiling

    When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk—not on personal characteristics.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • A man holding a 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' pose and wearing an 'I Can't Breathe' mask outside City Hall, New York City, December 10, 2014

    Commentary

    Can Big Data Help Build Trust in the Police?

    After two controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in the deaths of unarmed African Americans, a White House task force has 90 days to provide recommendations for promoting accountability among law enforcement agencies to cultivate trust between police and communities. The timeline may seem impossible, but, sadly, these issues are old and the solutions are well known.

    Dec 11, 2014

  • flickr_3404985890_b203801f3c_o

    Project

    Assessing the Value of Mounted Police Units in the UK

    Mounted police have been part of British policing for the better part of two centuries but little was known about their work from an academic or practitioner standpoint. RAND Europe helped to investigate both quantitative and qualitative indicators relating to the value of mounted police in various deployment scenarios, in an effort to understand how members of the public perceive and respond to mounted police deployments.

    Nov 19, 2014